John and Elizabeth PETTIGREW

Daniel and Flora DOWNIE

Parents of:


b. (?) - d. (?)

marriage 9th January 1795

Elizabeth DOWNIE

b. 1774 - d. (?)


b. 1796 - d. (?)


John and Flora POLLOCK

b. 1797 - d. (?)


Alexander and Mary PETTIGREW

b. 1799 - d. 1838


John and Agnes Finlayson PETTIGREW

b. 1801 - d. 1864


James and Mary PETTIGREW


James and Agnes PETTIGREW

b. 1803 - d. 1864


William and Elizabeth PETTIGREW

b. 1806 - d. (?)


b. 1808 - d. 1858


b. 1810 - d. (?)


James Chalmers and Elizabeth PARK

b. 1814 - d. (?)


b. 1816 - d. 1883


Archibald and Sarah PETTIGREW

Biographical notes

The information about this family is derived from several sources. Elizabeth's marriage to John Pettigrew is recorded in the Newton on Ayr parish register. However the spelling in the register is John Petticrew and Elizabeth Dounie. Subsequent birth entries in the Newton on Ayr registers perpetuate this spelling. Hence for Flora (1796), the parents are given as John Petticrew Elizabeth Dounie. For Alexander (1797) the parents are John Petticrue and Elizabeth Dounie.

For all other eight children born after 1797 the entries are entered in the St. Quivox Parish Registers and the father's name is spelt consistently as John Pettigrew whilst there is some variation of the mother's name between Elizabeth and Elisabeth Downie. This leaves open the very slight possibility that Elizabeth Dounie and Elizabeth Downie may refer to two different people in the adjacent parishes of Newton on Ayr and St. Quivox. However, this is very doubtful and in all other respects the births follow logically with the couple being married and having their first two children christened in Newton, before moving on to St Quivox where the rest of their children were christened.

The return in the 1851 Census states that Elizabeth Downie was born on the Isle of Arran in about 1774, so she would have been 21 at the time of marriage. This is reasonable given that her last recorded child, Archibald, was born in 1816 when she would have been 42.

Further evidence from the Census records of 1841 and 1851 show Alexander, Elizabeth, James, William and Archibald with their own families living in separate houses in Content Street, Wallacetown. Elizabeth Pettigrew (nee Downie) appears in the 1841 and 1851 Census returns as living with her son Alexander and his wife.

The antecedents of her husband John Pettigrew (spelt Petticrew in the marriage register) are currently obscure and the nearest John Pettigrew recorded in the Ayr registers is that of John Pettigrew (Monkton and Prestwick Parish, adjacent to the Newton on Ayr and St Quivox Parishes), in March 1777. He would have been 18 and Elizabeth 21 at the date of marriage so this would seem to be unlikely. A more likely possibility is that John, like Elizabeth, came from Kilmory in Arran.

The first clue as to the exact whereabouts of the family are to be found in the 1821 St Quivox Census, which lists John Pettigrew, Weaver, living in Content Sreet. The 1841 Census records their families living in Wallacetown Parish (created in about 1836 from the amalgamation of Content and Wallace villages).

quote : This is wholly a town district, and formed of the villages of Wallace and Content, which adjoin the burgh of Newton-upon-Ayr, on the east side, and are separated from Ayr by the Ayr river, over which is the handsome structure at this place, called the Bridge of Ayr. The villages are built on the lands of Sir Thomas Wallace, of Craigie, and have arisen since the year 1760, in consequence of the establishment of coal-works in the immediate neighbourhood, and of the increase of manufactures in this part of the country. They consist of indifferent houses, inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in the mines and in weaving, and by agricultural labourers, and artisans in various handicraft trades: the weavers work at their own houses for the manufacturers of Paisley and Glasgow.

From: 'Lewis, Samuel, 1846 Wallacetown - Wia', A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, pp. 588-608. URL:

John Pettigrew was a weaver, and several of his children are recorded as weavers, coal miners and shoemakers.

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